Photographing Light…

When we talk about photographing light, we don’t usually mean pointing our camera at the sun and releasing the shutter. Disastrous results, usually.

Autumn Rays, Cataloochee Valley.
Autumn Rays, Cataloochee Valley.

In a misty morning light rays form as the stronger light plays off the water droplets of mist. Placing the bright sun behind a tree will allow the sensitive film or sensor to record the spilling of light around and through the area.

Developing the eye to recognize how the camera handles kinds of light, is really the key.

Fern Pink Beds, Transylvania County, NC
Fern Pink Beds, Transylvania County, NC

In this example the subtle light plays off a lighter color foliage causing it to become the center of attention. This image can be captured by any camera – film, digital, Iphone, mirrorless. It’s just a matter of recognizing how soft light brings a certain item to stand out. That is what photographing light is about.

It’s the difference between photographing Things and photographing Light. Things without light often result in so-so images. A normally obscure item with light can create a statement. This Fern is front lit.

Morning Grass, Wikie Watchee,  FL
Morning Grass, Weeki Wachee, FL

This Grass is backlit, and early morning light bathes the subject and water drops and catches the eye. I have no idea what kind of grass this is. I often have to research subjects after the image is made. The Camera was a Nikon Film Camera Model 8008, with and 300mm EDIF f/4.5 lens and 50mm extension tube, which enable me to get close, enlarge the subject and subdue the background.

Often photography takes place because we just go out with camera and capture what nature provides. A walk in the woods in the early morning increases the chances for something interesting to happen.

When shooting into the light, beware of “lens flare.” Using a lens hood can help keep the strong light from entering your lens. The effect of lens flare is a washed out image. It’s one of the inexpensive things we can do to help ourselves.

For more Photo tips see

Bob says, Thanks!
Bob says, Thanks!

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